Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division unveiled an official report documenting a trove of information about marijuana and edible pot sales, the size of the industry, and testing results.
THE RAW TONNAGE
74 tons of marijuana flower were sold in the state, of which only 19 tons were sold as “recreational,” telling us medical patients used more than twice as much marijuana flower (buds) as did recreational customers.
This is roughly the size of 12 African elephants, or about 148 adult male polar bears.
Conversely, recreational users consumed vastly more edible marijuana products in 2014 than did medical marijuana patients. 1.96 million units of medical edibles were sold. 2.8 million of them were sold to recreational buyers.
That means a total of 4.8 million edible marijuana products like cookies, candy bars and drinks sold in 2014. That’s equal to almost one edible to every resident of Colorado.
Edibles are more of a recreation thing. 60 percent of edibles sold were in recreational shops. By comparison, in December 2014, 60 percent of marijuana flower sold came from medical marijuana shops.
THE NUMBER OF PLANTS
The state of Colorado was cranking out almost 17,000 new plants each day at the end of 2014. That would be enough for every resident in Sterling to have one every day.
At year’s end, Colorado recreational pot growers were cultivating more than 200,000 new plants each month to support their businesses, compared to just 25,000 in January, the first month of legal sales.
Plants need to be designated as either “retail” or “medical” when they are potted.
By contrast, growers cranked out more than 300,000 new medical plants in all but two months of the year. Each plant is tagged with an RFID chip, which is tracked through each step of cultivation and preparation for sale, according to the official report.
The state tracking system logged 37 million “events,” including new cutting planted and plants processed into various products.
DENVER IS THE POT KING BY EVERY MEASURE
Denver is the undisputed capitol of the marijuana trade in Colorado. 60 percent of all the recreational buds sold in the state were sold in Denver, 11.5 tons. The next nearest competitor, Boulder County, looked paltry by comparison with 2.5 tons.
Denver is also tops in medical pot with 31 tons sold compared to just 11 tons in El Paso County.
By a 5-1 margin, the Denver County’s recreational sales of infused products outpaced its next nearest competitor with 1.3 million units sold. About 2.6 million edibles sold in Denver. A half million sold in Boulder. Only one in five jurisdictions in Colorado allow both recreational and medical sales.
POT JOBS AND INDUSTRY BOOMING
The data reveal that 9,400 jobs were created above-board in Colorado’s marijuana sector with the dawn of recreational sales. There were 6,600 state badges issued to workers in the medical pot industry as 2014 began. By year’s end, the figure mushroomed to 16,000.
833 brand-new recreational marijuana facilities opened in Colorado in 2014, including 322 retail stores. At year’s end there were 1,416 medical marijuana facilities, a slight increase over 2013.
State regulators suspended 30 licenses for violations over the course of the year. An additional 153 agreed to corrections or shut-downs.
The state didn’t offer detailed info about average potency of pot in Colorado, but it did give us a glimpse at how testing went for edibles. 3,893 potency tests were conducted.
90 batches of retail edibles were rejected because they flunked laboratory tests mandated by the state in 2014.
The official report says
72 failed because they were too potent (for having more than 100 mg THC) and 18 failed because the THC inside of them wasn’t spread evenly enough throughout the product according to the official report.
Mandatory testing of pot edibles didn’t begin until July 2014.